Survey: Bribery Disrupting Expansions Into Third World

Bribery is playing an increasingly disreputable role in the efforts of western industrialists to win large business contracts in the developing world, according to Transparency International (TI), a non-governmental group. In a new survey, TI says that among western industry executives, 65% believe low public-sector salaries are the prime cause of corruption; 63% listed immunity from prosecution as another incentive. TI reported that an anti-bribery convention adopted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD ) has had little impact in diminishing bribery. Thirty-eight percent of executives have never heard of the OECD pact. Defense, power, and construction industry deals are particularly rife with corruption. Executives questioned by TI also criticized the use of diplomatic and political pressure by western governments to win contracts for national companies. The U.S., France, and Japan were the countries most frequently cited for this behavior.

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